Sunday, June 12, 2016

Publisher's note. Brief pause: I will be 'out of commission' for a short while due to a writing engagement but will be back in action before you know it. No tears please! (I get emotional!) Cheers: Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Dear readers. I will not be publishing new posts over the next few weeks  due to a writing engagement;  In the meantime, please keep in touch with me during this fallow period  at the address below if anything comes up of interest to this Blog  such as new cases, issues, legislation,  or developments of whatever sort. (I will be undoubtedly be checking out my emails from time to time.")

Best wishes;

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog; PS: The Ben Butler trial - which I have been following closely on the Blog - is ongoing in the UK. Keep up with developments by creating a Google alert for: "Ben Butler" and Ellie

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:


 hlevy15@gmail.com;

Harold Levy;

Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Bulletin: Davontae Sanford: Michigan; Major Development: Prosecutors allege Michigan State Deputy Police Chief James Tolbert fabricated a crucial piece of evidence during the 2007 murder trial of Sanford, then-14-years-old..."The fabricated evidence was a drawing of the crime scene, in which Michigan State Deputy Police Chief James Tolbert, in 2010, lied under oath and said Sanford had drawn the picture, indicating he had full knowledge of the scene. “Mr. Sanford being able to draw the sketch would demonstrate that all of the information came from Mr. Sanford’s recollection of his participation in the crime,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a powerpoint presentation she showed at a press conference. A sergeant from the department also testified that the initial sketch was written and signed by Sanford. But in 2015, Michigan State Police officials interviewed Tolbert during a reinvestigation of the case—this time, Tolbert confessing to drawing it and passing it off as Sanford’s. “When evidence undermining a conviction is discovered and a full investigation is completed, we do act,” Worthy said..."Sanford was officially released on June 8, a day after all charges against him were dropped. Just two weeks after Sanford pleaded guilty and was sentenced, Vincent Smothers, a self-proclaimed professional hitman, admitted to committing the murders, and provided evidence from the crime scene — evidence that Sanford had previously gotten wrong during his testimonies....It is believed Sanford, being young and naive, accepted his guilty plea at the time after suspected coercion from the Detroit Police Department, who led the teen to believe if he pleaded guilty he would be set free."


STORY: :Michigan Police Chief Lied About Crucial Drawing in Davontae Sanford Trial," by reporter Andrew Simontacchi,  published   by the Epoch Times on June 10, 2016.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Davontae Sanford sits in court as attorneys present their findings in Detroit on June 30, 2010. Sanford was just 14 when he told police he killed four people in a drug den. He was sentenced to at least 38 years in prison for the 2007 slayings."

GIST: "A former Michigan State police chief fabricated a crucial piece of evidence during the 2007 murder trial of then-14-year-old, Davontae Sanford. Sanford, now 23, was released on June 8 after spending the last 9 years in prison for crimes he did not commit. Sanford had been sentenced to at least 38 years in prison for the 2007 slayings of four people. The fabricated evidence was a drawing of the crime scene, in which Michigan State Deputy Police Chief James Tolbert, in 2010, lied under oath and said Sanford had drawn the picture, indicating he had full knowledge of the scene. “Mr. Sanford being able to draw the sketch would demonstrate that all of the information came from Mr. Sanford’s recollection of his participation in the crime,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a powerpoint presentation she showed at a press conference. A sergeant from the department also testified that the initial sketch was written and signed by Sanford. But in 2015, Michigan State Police officials interviewed Tolbert during a reinvestigation of the case—this time, Tolbert confessing to drawing it and passing it off as Sanford’s. “When evidence undermining a conviction is discovered and a full investigation is completed, we do act,” Worthy said. “On receipt of the MSP report regarding the Runyon St. murders, I directed that the evidence of Tolbert’s statement be shared with Mr. Sanford’s attorneys.” Worthy said: “New information has undermined Sanford’s confession and plea, and as a result, we agreed to vacate his convictions and dismiss the case. "Sanford was officially released on June 8, a day after all charges against him were dropped. Just two weeks after Sanford pleaded guilty and was sentenced, Vincent Smothers, a self-proclaimed professional hitman, admitted to committing the murders, and provided evidence from the crime scene—evidence that Sanford had previously gotten wrong during his testimonies....It is believed Sanford, being young and naive, accepted his guilty plea at the time after suspected coercion from the Detroit Police Department, who led the teen to believe if he pleaded guilty he would be set free."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2088478-michigan-police-chief-lied-about-crucial-drawing-during-davontae-sanford-trial/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com;

Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

Bulletin: Rodricus Crawford; Corey Williams: Louisiana; (The Corey Williams case is another disturbing Louisiana case, which like the Rodricus Crawford case (subject of a series of posts on this Blog) puts the state's criminal justice system under intense scrutiny -and cries out for remedy. The Williams case is particularly disturbing because it involves "newly uncovered evidence" found in the prosecutor's possession relating to a mentally handicapped 16-year-old, Corey Williams, who was arrested and convicted of a murder, and has since spent half of his life incarcerated for the crime.).."In an application for supervisory writ filed Friday, Williams' attorney say prosecutors hid evidence known as Brady material, information that could have impeached the testimony of other suspects and cast reasonable doubt as to Williams' involvement. That evidence, attorney Blythe Taplin writes, comes in the form of "a series of recorded interviews between witnesses and law enforcement that supported the defense case that two other men committed the murder." "Between midnight and 8:30 a.m., detectives conducted a series of interviews with witnesses that were never disclosed," Taplin wrote. "Although the older men originally tried to place the blame on Corey, the police detectives immediately realized this was a ruse to place the blame on the most compromised, and least threatening, of those nearby the shooting." In one audio tape an investigator is recorded telling a witness, "It sounds like to me y'all all decided y'all going to blame it on Corey," while another tape has a witness placing his suspicions on another man known as "Rapist." The Shreveport Times;


"A Shreveport man filed paperwork Friday to take his 1998 murder conviction to the Louisiana Supreme Court, citing newly uncovered evidence of his innocence. Jarvis Griffin was shot and killed Jan. 4, 1998 after the pizza delivery man pulled away from a drop off at a house on Virginia Street. A mentally handicapped 16-year-old, Corey Williams, was arrested and convicted of that murder, and Williams has since spent half of his life incarcerated for the crime. In an application for supervisory writ filed Friday, Williams' attorney say prosecutors hid evidence known as Brady material, information that could have impeached the testimony of other suspects and cast reasonable doubt as to Williams' involvement. That evidence, attorney Blythe Taplin writes, comes in the form of "a series of recorded interviews between witnesses and law enforcement that supported the defense case that two other men committed the murder." "Between midnight and 8:30 a.m., detectives conducted a series of interviews with witnesses that were never disclosed," Taplin wrote. "Although the older men originally tried to place the blame on Corey, the police detectives immediately realized this was a ruse to place the blame on the most compromised, and least threatening, of those nearby the shooting." In one audio tape an investigator is recorded telling a witness, "It sounds like to me y'all all decided y'all going to blame it on Corey," while another tape has a witness placing his suspicions on another man known as "Rapist." While U.S. Supreme Court attention is rare, it wouldn't be the first time the justices' decisions have benefited Williams' defense team. Originally sentenced to death for Jarvis' murder, in 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that executing people with intellectual disabilities violates the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments. With an IQ of 68, Williams fit the criteria, and his sentence was changed to life in prison..."For an intellectually disabled, innocent, teenager to be removed from death row and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, it isn’t a victory — it’s a tragedy every day that Corey remains in prison," Taplin said via email. "This state was supposed to protect kids like Corey. Given what we know now, it’s clear that we failed him." The evidence was only uncovered in 2015, when interim district Attorney Dale Cox found the recordings in old files and turned them over. The DA's office has previously opposed any defense motions for a lesser sentence but could not be reached before publication Friday. Williams' attorneys expect to hear back from the Supreme Court in 8-12 weeks."
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/crime/2016/06/10/shreveport-man-appeals-life-sentence-highest-court/85720106/

Can new District Attorney James Stewart bring justice back to Caddo Parrish, Louisiana  for convicted men such as Rodricus Crawford and Corey Williams, and who knows how many other that have been convicted by the state's malevolent criminal justice system which has finally come under intense scrutiny? See the Shreveport Times story at the link below: "It’s too early to say what Stewart’s legacy will be. The office has been stained by allegations of racial bias and politics. It’s facing a federal class action lawsuit for allegedly violating the rights of black residents wanting to serve on Caddo juries. Anti-death penalty groups and activists are quick to point out the parish’s role as outlier in Louisiana, which has temporarily halted executions. Trust in the office among some in the public is stretched thin while others guard it with suspicion. Ben Cohen, Capital Appeals Project counsel, said he’s waiting to see if Stewart will bring justice back to Caddo Parish. Cohen is one of the attorneys representing Corey Williams, an intellectually disabled man serving life for the murder of a pizza delivery man. Williams was convicted as a teen and sentenced to die. His sentence was overturned after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled minors could not receive the death penalty. “I hope Judge Stewart develops a system for looking at these cases that were handled in the past (and a process to ensure it doesn’t happen again),” he said. via email.
 http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/watchdog/2016/01/08/setting-up-house-james-stewart-move/78503030/


PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  Many people are asking how they can help  free and exonerate Rodricus Crawford.  Crawford himself,  his family, and Marlene Belliveau, who is advocating for Crawford,   believe that personal pleas directly  to District Attorney James Stewart or  Governor of the State of Louisiana John Bel Edwards to review the case before it is too late could help make a difference -  and would be most appreciated. The pleas can be sent as follows:

DA James Stewart
501Texas St, 5th Floor
Shreveport, LA  71101

(or) 

Governor John Bel Edwards
Office of the Governor
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804

For more information with respect to this case, you may also contact Marlene Belliveau at : MarleneABelliveau@gmail.com ( for the Crawford family);
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: THE EIGHT POST  CHARLES SMITH BLOG SERIES:

Part One: 'TakePart'  tells the compelling  story of a sister's (Vicki Crawford-Sharp) efforts to save her brother from Louisiana's death row  - with the  fervent  support of a Canadian woman (Marlene Belliveau)  drawn to the case  by a horrific personal experience of her own.
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/05/rodricus-crawford-louisiana-death-row.html 

Part Two: Marlene Belliveau's compelling   plea to Caddo Parrish's new  District Attorney James Stewart to spare an innocent father's  life and proclaim his innocence.
 http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/05/rodricus-crawford-louisiana-death-row_28.html

Part Three: The Innocence Network files an Amicus Brief urging the US Supreme Court to reverse his conviction - asserting that the victim’s death resulted not from suffocation, but from a fatal illness.
 http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/05/rodricus-crawford-louisiana-death-row_29.html

Part Four:  In his own words Rodricus Crawford - through an open letter - tells anyone who will listen that all he asks is for the new DA (James Stewart) "to do the right thing and re-examine the case...There's only one reasonable conclusion."
http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/05/rodricus-crawford-louisiana-death-row_30.html

Part Five: Catholics lead calls for court to spare life of death-row inmate; Catholic News Service.
 http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016_05_01_archive.html

Part Six: More on the perverse criminal justice culture in which Rodicrus Crawford - and many others - have been trapped: A recent study conducted by the 'Southern University Law Center’s Journal of Race, Gender and Poverty' which shows that "few Louisiana death row inmates are actually executed, since the majority have their verdicts reversed upon appeal, or are exonerated due to innocence findings".
 http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/06/rodricus-crawford-death-row-louisiana.html

Part Seven: Good news for Rodricus Crawford and the rest of the more than 80 people on death row in Louisiana; It just got more difficult for the state to push forward on executions.
 http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/06/rodricus-crawford-death-row-louisiana_1.html

Part Eight: Publisher's view; (Editorial);  "Apart from the factual component of the case which cries out Rodricus Crawford's innocence - after he had been trapped  in Louisiana's  perverse criminal justice culture - we still have to view Rodricus in the context of a father wrongfully convicted of the  murder of his son,  charged with the most horrific offence in the criminal law, and  awaiting a meeting with the state's executioner."
 https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=120008354894645705#editor/target=post;postID=3030613652084038518;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=8;src=link

See also  a  recent previous post on this Blog at the link below..."Louisiana's criminal Justice system under intense scrutiny: "Also real are the two additional problems tainting Louisiana's justice system as borne out by the following stories..."

 http://smithforensic.blogspot.ca/2016/06/louisianas-criminal-justice-system.html

Fallibility of DNA: Scientific American: "When DNA Implicates the Innocent."..."Like any piece of evidence, however, DNA is just one part of a larger picture. “We're desperately hoping that DNA will come in to save the day, but it's still fitting into a flawed system,” says Erin E. Murphy, a professor of law at New York University and author of the 2015 book Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA. “If you don't bring in the appropriate amount of skepticism and restraint in using the method, there are going to be miscarriages of justice.” For example, biological samples can degrade or be contaminated; judges and juries can misinterpret statistical probabilities. And as the Anderson case brought to light, skin cells can move." Peter Andrey Smith;


STORY: "When DNA Implicates the Innocent," by Peter Andrey Smith, published by Scientific  American on June 1, 2106.

SUB-HEADING: "The criminal justice system’s reliance on DNA evidence, often treated as infallible, carries significant risks"

GIST: "In December 2012 a homeless man named Lukis Anderson was charged with the murder of Raveesh Kumra, a Silicon Valley multimillionaire, based on DNA evidence. The charge carried a possible death sentence. But Anderson was not guilty. He had a rock-solid alibi: drunk and nearly comatose, Anderson had been hospitalized—and under constant medical supervision—the night of the murder in November. Later his legal team learned his DNA made its way to the crime scene by way of the paramedics who had arrived at Kumra's residence. They had treated Anderson earlier on the same day—inadvertently “planting” the evidence at the crime scene more than three hours later. The case, presented in February at the annual American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting in Las Vegas, provides one of the few definitive examples of a DNA transfer implicating an innocent person and illustrates a growing opinion that the criminal justice system's reliance on DNA evidence, often treated as infallible, actually carries significant risks. As virtually every field in forensics has come under increased scientific scrutiny in recent years, especially those relying on comparisons such as bite-mark and microscopic hair analysis, the power of DNA evidence has grown—and for good reason. DNA analysis is more definitive and less subjective than other forensic techniques because it is predicated on statistical models. By examining specific regions, or loci, on the human genome, analysts can determine the likelihood that a given piece of evidence does or does not match a known genetic profile, from a victim, suspect or alleged perpetrator; moreover, analysts can predict how powerful or probative the match is by checking a pattern's frequency against population databases. Since the mid-1990s the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization based in New York City, has analyzed or reanalyzed available DNA to examine convictions, winning nearly 200 exonerations and spurring calls for reform of the criminal justice system. Like any piece of evidence, however, DNA is just one part of a larger picture. “We're desperately hoping that DNA will come in to save the day, but it's still fitting into a flawed system,” says Erin E. Murphy, a professor of law at New York University and author of the 2015 book Inside the Cell: The Dark Side of Forensic DNA. “If you don't bring in the appropriate amount of skepticism and restraint in using the method, there are going to be miscarriages of justice.” For example, biological samples can degrade or be contaminated; judges and juries can misinterpret statistical probabilities. And as the Anderson case brought to light, skin cells can move. Since 1997, when researchers first showed that it was possible to gather genetic information about a person based on skin cells they had left on an object, this type of trace evidence, also known as touch DNA, has been increasingly collected from surfaces such as door and gun handles. (In some jurisdictions, such as Harris County, Texas, the number of touch DNA cases submitted for laboratory analysis increased more than threefold between 2009 and 2013, often as a means of identifying possible perpetrators for burglaries and thefts.) Commercial companies now sell kits to law-enforcement agencies that can generate a full genetic profile of an individual from as few as three to five cells. Independent labs and scientists working on such projects as identifying long-deceased individuals also employ the kits. Until recently, this type of DNA has been regarded as incontrovertible proof of direct contact. But a growing number of studies show that DNA does not always stay put. For example, a person who merely carried a cloth that had been wiped across someone else's neck could then transfer that person's DNA onto an object he or she never touched, according to a study published earlier this year in the International Journal of Legal Medicine. Similarly, Cynthia M. Cale, a master's candidate in human biology at the University of Indianapolis, recently reported in the Journal of Forensic Sciences that a person who uses a steak knife after shaking hands with another person transfers that person's DNA onto the handle. In fact, in a fifth of the samples she collected, the person identified as the main contributor of DNA never touched the knife. Cale and her colleagues are among several groups now working to establish how easily and how quickly cells can be transferred—and how long they persist. “What we get is what we get,” Cale says, “but it's how that profile is used and presented that we need to be cautious about.” At the forensics meeting in Las Vegas, Kelley Kulick, a public defender for the County of Santa Clara, presented the idea that Anderson's DNA hitched a ride on the medics' uniforms. Just how often transferred DNA ends in a wrongful accusation is unknown. “Although clear cases appear to be quite uncommon, I think it's probably more prevalent than we think,” says Jennifer Friedman, a public defender in Los Angeles and DNA specialist. “The problem is that what we don't see frequently is the ability to definitely prove that transfer occurred.” The erroneous interpretation of touch DNA for Anderson has now also become a contentious issue for two co-defendants on trial for the Kumra murder, Kulick says. No doubt DNA evidence remains an invaluable investigative tool, but forensic scientists and legal scholars alike emphasize that additional corroborating facts should be required to determine guilt or innocence. Like all forms of evidence, DNA is only one circumstantial clue. As such, Anderson's case serves as a warning that a handful of wayward skin cells should not come to mean too much."

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-dna-implicates-the-innocent/

See also related by post by forensic blogger Mike Bowers  Forensics in Focus:( CSI DDS):  at the link below;  "With the FBI making a step to reel in its history of wayward forensic conclusions, Scientific American wades into the “restructuring” of DNA opinions in much the same way. The Fibbies had ample time and warning to rethink and retool their poorly validated use of human hair morphology when DNA profiling began to contradict hair IDs in earnest during the 1990’s. Better late than never, I guess. Now, in a stroke of irony, DNA is being seen in the media and some scientific forensic circles as subject to similar human foibles. Its all about the DNA from “touch.” The Santa Barbara’s District Attorneys Office put UCSB soccer star Eric Frimpong into prison (and after release deportation back to Ghana) in 2008 from a touch contact between a female student and his genitals. She was covered in seminal fluids from her unindicted “boyfriend.”  2 bitemark dentists showed up to finish the deal against him. These are same two DA bitemark experts in Bill Richards case from 1997 who recanted their testimony from that case in 2009. As you will read below, “touch” research is just starting after 20 years of DNA courtroom opinions in the US. In another irony, the testing of DNA “walking” into a crime scene and by direct inference, a sexual assault case, is reported from a forensic science graduate student. Odd? Not really as this is forensics."

 https://csidds.com/2016/06/07/the-bloom-is-off-forensic-dnas-infallibility-scientific-american/

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com;

Harold Levy;

Bulletin: Sonja Farak; Massachusetts; Superior Court judge wants to know why state didn't turn over paperwork showing Sonja Farak's addiction history, Mass Live reports..." But (Judge Richard) Carey, in considering defendants' motions to withdraw guilty pleas or have a new trial, said he wants to know what happened. "It also seems to me that the critical issue here is that documentation that was in that car, in that manila envelope, that reflected arguably a prior history for Ms. Farak. Who saw it, what they did with it, who disclosed it who didn't disclose it, why they disclosed it or didn't disclose it, when they disclosed it and when they didn't disclose it, is what this is all about," Carey said in a court session Monday on 10 cases in which Farak was involved. Carey noted in a past ruling on the cases that police listed Farak's mental health treatment records as "assorted lab paperwork." The records "shed light on Farak's long struggle with addiction and her drug tampering at the Amherst drug lab," he wrote. Ryan on Monday continued to argue for what he calls "the missing emails" from the state attorney general's office and state police."


STORY: "Superior Court judge wants to know why state didn't turn over paperwork showing Sonja Farak's addiction history,"  by reporter Buffy Spencer, published by 'Mass Live' on June 7, 2016.

PHOTO CAPTION:  "Sonja Farak, left, stands during her arraignment at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown, Mass., Tuesday Jan. 22, 2013. Farak is charged with stealing drugs and tampering with evidence while working as a chemist in the State Crime Lab in Amherst. Farak pleaded not guilty."

GIST: Hampden Superior Court Judge Richard J. Carey on Monday summed up a main goal in figuring out what he should do with cases affected by former state chemist Sonja Farak's misconduct. He wants to know why Farak's mental health care records — found in Farak's car when she was arrested for drug thefts from the now-closed state police crime laboratory in Amherst in January 2013 — didn't come to light until the fall of 2014. They only came to light after lawyer Luke Ryan, representing defendants who were contesting the outcome of their drug cases because Farak was involved, was finally allowed to inspect evidence. Defense lawyers have said the state's withholding of the records is prosecutorial misconduct. A report released in May concluded there was no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct or obstruction of justice by the assistant attorney general or state police officers in matters related to the Farak investigation. The report was prepared by Special Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Velis and special Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Thomas Merrigan. But Carey, in considering defendants' motions to withdraw guilty pleas or have a new trial, said he wants to know what happened. "It also seems to me that the critical issue here is that documentation that was in that car, in that manila envelope, that reflected arguably a prior history for Ms. Farak. Who saw it, what they did with it, who disclosed it who didn't disclose it, why they disclosed it or didn't disclose it, when they disclosed it and when they didn't disclose it, is what this is all about," Carey said in a court session Monday on 10 cases in which Farak was involved. Carey noted in a past ruling on the cases that police listed Farak's mental health treatment records as "assorted lab paperwork." The records "shed light on Farak's long struggle with addiction and her drug tampering at the Amherst drug lab," he wrote. Ryan on Monday continued to argue for what he calls "the missing emails" from the state attorney general's office and state police. Even though 810 emails among those parties were given to defense lawyers, Ryan said some were clearly missing. For instance, he told Carey on Monday, although some of the emails showed that someone from the attorney general's office or state police replied to an email, the actual reply is not there. Carey asked the defense lawyers and attorney general's office representatives to try to work out among themselves a means for getting all the emails, and report to him if it can't be accomplished without a court order. He said he is particularly interested in seeing all the emails from January 2013 to the fall of 2014, since that is the time period between when Farak's mental health records were seized in the car to when Ryan found them after being allowed access to evidence. Carey said he would set aside a week or two weeks, perhaps in September, to conduct hearings on the current cases. He said he planned to have them resolved one way or another, be it by dismissal, a new trial or other means. After those cases are resolved, he said, he will address other cases filed with him relating to Farak."...An interim report by state Assistant Attorney General Thomas Caldwell said, "Ms. Farak began using controlled substances regularly in the last quarter of 2004; Ms. Farak was under the influence of controlled substances during a vast majority of her working hours from the last quarter of 2004 to her removal from the lab on Jan. 18, 2013." Earlier this year Farak testified under an immunity agreement before a grand jury investigating failures in the state crime lab. Caldwell wrote that she testified "about her extensive drug use; her siphoning of drugs from the lab's standards, which were used to test drug samples, from police-submitted samples of drugs, which were intended to be tested for evidentiary purposes in pending criminal cases, and from other chemists' samples; and her manufacturing in the lab of crack cocaine for her own personal use." Farak testified at that grand jury she first started using methamphetamine from the lab in late 2004 or early 2005, she said he enjoyed the "positive side effects" of the drug. She began to use it multiple times a day. Not taking the drug resulted in severe lethargy, irritability and lack of productivity and focus, to the point where she would have to call out sick.

The entire story can be found at:

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/06/superior_court_judge_wants_to.html
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE:

I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com;

Harold Levy;

Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bulletin: Bobby James Moore; Duane Buck: Dallas Morning News welcomes the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to scrutinize the way Texas implements the death penalty by taking on their cases..."Both cases show the importance of Supreme Court scrutiny of the way Texas imposes the death penalty. The review is so critical because once imposed, an execution can never be undone. We can’t allow ourselves to forget how human, and therefore inescapably fallible, the process leading up to a death sentence is."


"The Supreme Court has agreed once again to scrutinize the way Texas implements the death penalty. Rejecting Texas’ arguments that they need not interfere, at least four justices in each case decided that circumstances were unusual enough to merit another look. We welcome that scrutiny, and so should Texas. One case in particular reveals Texas’ stubbornness: Bobby James Moore. It’s as clear as a red stop sign to Texas officials and everyone else in the country that individuals with intellectual disabilities may not be executed. But Texas insists that its decades-old method for testing a defendant’s mental capacity is sufficient, despite widespread improvements in medical evaluations that have been adopted across the U.S. When a judge ruled that a modern test had shown that Moore, who’s been awaiting execution since his 1980 conviction for murder, suffers from intellectual disability severe enough to keep him out of the death house, Texas appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. That court ruled the modern test invalid, arguing that only the outdated methods maintained by Texas officials could suffice. Lawyers for Moore have called that absurd; we agree. In seeking the Supreme Court review, they noted other state high courts have ruled that “current, established medical standards in assessing intellectual disability” should be used. Texas’ insistence that only its older testing methods are valid is unreasonable. It also marks the state out as a unnecessary holdout against capital punishment limits that have proven wise and human. Texas serves no higher public good by being so stubborn. The other case involves another inmate on Texas’ death row, though its challenge is not so pointedly directed at the death penalty. Instead, it asks a broader question: “Whether and to what extent the criminal justice system tolerates racial bias and discrimination.” When jurors were determining whether to sentence Duane Buck to death, his lawyers called an expert witness who, astoundingly, told jurors that Buck would be more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is black. That helped persuade the jury to sentence him to death. .......Both cases show the importance of Supreme Court scrutiny of the way Texas imposes the death penalty. The review is so critical because once imposed, an execution can never be undone. We can’t allow ourselves to forget how human, and therefore inescapably fallible, the process leading up to a death sentence is."
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/1553d4c209e232f6

Bulletin: Jane Ireland (psychologist); UK: Major Development: (Good News; HL); The entire discipline case against her - after complaints were made about a study published in 2012 in which she claimed one in five expert witnesses in the family courts were not suitably qualified - has been dismissed..."She was accused of reaching conclusions that were not justified by the data and of threatening fellow psychologists with legal action if they did not withdraw complaints. But the panel dismissed the entire case against her."Lancashire Evening Post


"Professor Jane Ireland was called to appear before the Health and Care Professions Council after complaints were made about a study published in 2012 in which she claimed one in five expert witnesses were not suitably qualified. She was accused of reaching conclusions that were not justified by the data and of threatening fellow psychologists with legal action if they did not withdraw complaints. But the panel dismissed the entire case against her."

http://www.lep.co.uk/your-lancashire/preston/case-against-uclan-psychologist-scrapped-1-7957252